HAP Crim Virtual Racer From Hong Kong
Living in Hong Kong didn’t stop runner Mark Stimson from running the HAP Virtual Crim. It was perfect for him! Mark grew up as a Michigander in Davison and had always heard of the Crim Festival of Races from his mom, who volunteered in the race as part of the Priority Children team (now Voices For Children).
Mark was always an athlete, but more of a swimmer. He didn’t start running until about ten years ago, and this year was his first Crim race. “Being in Hong Kong during this pandemic, there wasn’t a lot to do, so I wanted to do the virtual race this year” Mark explained. “This was my first year doing a Crim race and it wasn’t until I started living here in Hong Kong that I started running.” He has done a few different marathons including The Hong Kong Marathon, Singapore Marathon, and the China Marathon. People see his Complete Runner shirt and say, “Hey Flint, Let’s Go!”
The HAP Virtual Crim race was a perfect scenario for Mark because he enjoyed the 10-mile distance but then due to it being spread out over 10 days, he also ran “The Bobby” completing the 10 mile, 5 mile, 5K, and 1 mile, all while staying in Hong Kong.
“Running around Hong Kong is great because it’s around an island” mentioned Mark. He also explained that his “friends always did marathons and really got me into it. I sent out a simple WhatsApp chat with the small people that run from all over the world saying I was running it, please join if you want. I had two friends from Hong Kong, two from the Netherlands, and one from France participate. I thought it was super fun all doing it together internationally.”
Mark was impressed with the way the Crim Fitness Foundation was able to take what is traditionally a live-action race and convert it to such a great online event that allowed for participants to continue to set a goal and accomplish it.
“Being a new runner to the Crim community, it got me thinking about Flint and even sparked conversations about my hometown with my friends and provided a nice, positive, international touchpoint” Mark said as he reminisced about the event. “It was interesting and very positive to realize the Crim Fitness Foundation is so much more than just a race, there are many different services that are provided that provide a complete well-being program,” Mark said.
In talking with Mark, it was obvious that his love of Flint and Genesee County is stronger than ever and he mentioned that it was nice to have this positive event to help take the common reaction and change the perception of what Flint is now.
Mark’s story is an example of what the Crim Fitness Foundation looks to do every day. We are constantly working to help people, near and far, develop a healthier lifestyle and at the same time, build a community that embraces that idea and works towards a healthier tomorrow.